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Bankia Sells Its 24.9% Stake In Realia To Slim For €44.5M

5 June 2015 – Cinco Días

The Tax Authorities approve Bankia’s sale of its 24.5% stake in the real estate company for €44.5 million, as the Mexican magnate’s takeover bid for the company gathers strength.

On Tuesday, the Tax Authorities approved the sale of Bankia‘s 24.5% stake. The bank required this approval, since it is controlled by the Fund for the Orderly Restructuring of the Banking Sector (the FROB), to execute the transfer of its shares to Inmobiliaria Carso, the property development company owned by Carlos Slim.

As a result, the Mexican magnate now holds 61.3% of Realia, since he indirectly controls the 36.8% stake owned by FCC. Slim is, in turn, the main shareholder of the construction company. The sale paves the way for the second richest man in the world to take ownership of 100% of the Madrilenian real estate company.

The transaction has been closed for €44.5 million, which represents net profits of €9.6 million for Bankia, according to reports submitted by the entity to the CNMV.

There are currently two takeover bids underway for Realia: one from the Socimi Hispania and the other from Slim himself, to take control of 100% of the company.

Hispania submitted the first bid, at a price of €0.49 per share. In March, the Board of Directors of the real estate company rejected that offer from the Socimi, in which George Soros holds a stake, which valued the company at €150.61 million, since it believed that the consideration offered was unreasonable. Moreover, the Socimi conditioned its offer on controlling at least 55% of Realia, which means that its road is now closed.

Meanwhile, the Mexican firm takes control of this stake whilst it waits for the CNMV to approve the takeover that it launched in March, at a price of €0.58 per share. Once this transaction has been authorised, an acceptance period for the two bids will begin.

Slim expressed his interest in the real estate company soon after he became the primary shareholder of FCC at the end of 2014. At that time, the construction company suspended the sales process that it had opened for its 36.8% stake in Realia; a representative of the magnate sits on that company’s board.

In his takeover statement, Slim revealed that his goal is to take control of Realia and clean it up in order to “fully develop the opportunities that it has within its reach, as a leading company in the sector”, which will continue to trade on the stock exchange. Realia refinanced debt amounting to €792 million, relating to its development activity at the end of 2013, whereby extending the repayment period to June 2016.

Original story: Cinco Días (by A. Simón)

Translation: Carmel Drake